I picked up the book from Moonriver Cafe (Singapore Official Bookcrossing Zone). It was registered by birmingham-rose in UK, and has got 9 journalers across 5 countries since.
This is the type of book I read because everybody reads it. Quite unexpectedly though, I enjoyed it. It’s quite an easy reading. I’m not sure if it’s really as good as everybody else claims it to be though. I mean, for me it’s definitely not 5 stars, or even 4. Maybe 3.5. But lately I’ve been stingy with my stars, so there you go.
From the back cover:
My name is Salmon, like the fish: first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighborhood. My mother liked his border flowers, and my father talked to him once about fertiliser.
The story is taken from Susie’s point of view, from heaven. This way she can see everybody and everything. Her family, father, mother, younger sister, and younger brother, her friends, her highschool crush, and, of course, her murderer. I kinda like a lot of the characters in the story, with the exception of her mom. Her selfish selfish mom. I wouldn’t spoil it for you, so go ahead and read it.
I like the description of heaven in the book. How people have different heaven, and how you need to let go of the world if you want to be really in heaven. How you share your heaven with other people, only if you want the same things in your heaven. It makes me almost believe that, yeah maybe heaven IS like that. A good chance that it could be that.
I think the fact that the story is told by the murdered girl in heaven is the key that makes the book interesting. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be that profound.
Ratings: 3.5 out of 5
Easy enjoyable reading. I like Sebold’s style of writing. I would say it’s high 3.5, but I can’t give it 4. At the end of the day, it just didn’t make me go WOW. I don’t know why. Maybe there are some less than satisfying elements in the story. *spoiler alert* (highlight to see) Like the end of the murderer. I guess it would be more satisfying if they caught him at the end for a closure. But on the other hand, it’s a good representation of life. Sometimes you just won’t know everything. You just have to go on with life. I like how the family can go through their misery at the end, even without a proper ‘closure’. It’s life. You survive or you die.
Longlisted for 2003 Orange Prize for Fiction